Friday, January 28, 2005

Bogie Birds

Bogart's strikes again. To my knowledge this is the third time in the past 10 years or so that the same Rowan tree just outside Bogart's Bar on North Street by the Westgate car park has attracted Waxwings. Thanks to Dick and Peter for finding and reporting the birds.

Waxwings Bombycilla garrulus

Digiscoped with the Nikon CP995, Leica APO77 and 20x eyepiece.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

North Bank sewage works

One of my favourite lunchtime outings is a cycle ride along the North Bank of the River Nene past both the old and new sewage works. Cold clear conditions are best so today was perfect and made better by having the good company of fellow biking birder Chaz Shaw.

The Tawny Owl Chaz had seen earlier at the old sewage works had gone into hiding but at the new works we saw two Chiffchaff, two Goldcrest, a Long-tailed Tit, Wrens, a Green Sandpiper and plenty of Redshank all feeding in the sunshine along the drain.

Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita

Wren Troglodytes troglodytes

Redshank Tringa totanus

Digiscoped with the Nikon CP995, Leica APO77 and 20x eyepiece.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Red-breasted Merganser pair

A bit of news came in this morning about a male Red-breasted Merganser on the River Welland (Merganser Central) yesterday so with lunchtime beckoning I picked up Weedon's World of Nature and headed off. Would it still be there?

Not far along from Crowland Bridge we both noticed a duck with outrageous wispy tufts on the head: a Red-breasted Merganser certainly but this was a female! The male wasn't far away and they both showed extremely well.

This was only my second experience of this species locally, the first being a male on the Nene many years ago. The River Welland has attracted one or two every year for the past few years but they often do not stay long.

Photography was difficult as we did not want to spook the birds and it was blowing a gale from the north but I managed a few shaky shots from the car.

Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator - Male


Digiscoped with the Nikon CP995, Leica APO77 and 20x eyepiece.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Bedford Purlieus

Probably the best bit of old woodland in the area and one of my favourite retreats. A visit looking for the elusive Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and the probably extinct Willow Tit. A female Lesser Spot showed very nicely in the northeast block of Pebblegate Sale but as expected there were no Willow Tits anywhere. Marsh Tits on the other hand popped up all over the place and birds were generally very active.

The relatively mild conditions and warm sun had encouraged an overwintering adult moth out and a Primrose to flower.

Acleris ferrugana/notana (most likely ferrugana based on habitat)

Primrose (Primula vulgaris)

Monday, January 10, 2005

Its back!

Ferry Meadows seems to be the place at the moment. As well as this Red-necked Grebe a Mediterranean Gull and Hawfinch are showing occasionally at the moment.

This Grebe was present from 28-30 Dec last year but to the dismay of local year listers vanished in 2005 only to return today. Where has it been in the meantime? Presumably not far away. It is behaving exactly as before tending to stick close to the banks on the southeast side of Overton Lake.

Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena), first-winter

Digiscoped with the Nikon CP995, Leica APO77 and 20x eyepiece.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Hawfinch, Ham Lane

These days a rare sight indeed around here. With only a couple of exceptions all recent records have come from here, the Ham Lane area of Ferry Meadows: and then only one or two, usually in the middle of winter. Is this a species on the edge of extinction around Peterborough?

Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes), female

Digiscoped with the Nikon CP995, Leica APO77 and 20x eyepiece.